New Long Beach business captures the magic of vintage photography

LONG BEACH -- Drake Woodson says he's used to doing business the 'challenging way' believing good things result from hard work.

His new small business in "Retro Row" in Long Beach, CA, is a premium vintage camera shop to help people tell their story through photography.

"The beauty of the vintage cameras is just the whole look and feel of how the photographs come out," said Woodson. "It's a very magical thing."

Opening up a small business during a pandemic is a risk, but Woodson went for it and the community has been supportive and excited about the new shop.

Woodson, who used to work in the technology industry, say his camera shop business is a nice blend of tech with nostalgia.

"I figured I'd never really make it easy on myself. I always make things super difficult," Woodson said. "So, opening up a business during a pandemic seemed pretty much on par for the way I am in my life."

For the Virginia native, Relics is about more than just vintage film.

"When I was starting out in photography, I would go to shops and the owners did not look like me at all," Woodson said. "I was very intimidated and uncomfortable."

The new shop owner hopes that Relics will make photography more accessible to everyone.

"It's super important to have diversity in the film photography community because there are people from different backgrounds that are buying their first camera, and they're able to tell their story through their eyes their way," Woodson said.